Over the past two days, I'd been having a discussion with my stepson on Facebook about health care reform. I am for it, he is against it, and that is O.K. This country is all about freedom of beliefs and the ability to speak out as you wish.
He is also a fundamentalist Christian. I believe in Christ and try to follow all his teachings to the best of my human-inflicted abilities but, at the moment, I do not regularly attended any church. I find that 'organized religion' of late has been more about fomenting hatred, intolerance and even violence...things I simply cannot abide in any form or for any reason.
I mentioned to my stepson that Christ admonished us to care for the poor and the sick. He responded by saying that 'that was a strange thing coming from someone who thinks Christ is a liar and/or insane."
Needless to say, I was deeply offended and even more deeply hurt by this comment. Neither of those statements are true in any respect. He went on to proselytize to me and as much as tell me that I would go to hell when I died if I did not 'admit my sins and accept Christ'.
Jesus and I are on pretty good terms. I'm the first to admit I'm not perfect and don't make any claims that I am. We all have our feet of clay, and I'm no exception. On the other hand, I also deeply respect the religious beliefs and faiths of all people: Jews, pagans, Muslims--you name it. If your faith allows you to stand straighter and be a productive, caring and compassionate member of the human race then I respect and applaud you for it.
My stepson claims he did this because he 'loves me'. Love, especially in the Christian sense (as I was taught to believe) means respect for others beliefs, tolerance and the ability to rationally and objectively disagree.
Today I'm trying to again follow Christ's entreaty to forgive (as a note, many other people throughout history have espoused similar philosophy, Gandhi, M L King come to mind, and I respect them, also), but it is very difficult. Hopefully, in time, I will be able to do this.
In the meantime, I'll continue to do my best to be a generous, kind and loving individual and follow that philosophy of life to the best of my ability. Being a flawed human, it's all I can do.